Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies
Brigitte Nielsen to Bill Owen
Bill Owen Biography (1914-)
Name originally Bill Rowbotham; born March 14, 1914, in Acton, England; son of William George Davenport and Louise (Matthews) Rowbotham; married Edith Stevenson (divorced); married Kate O'Donoghue. Addresses: Agent: RichardStone Agency, 18-20 York Bldgs., Adelphi, London WC2N 6JY, England.
Favorite roles: Mack the Knife in The Threepenny Opera, Ko-Ko in The Mikado, Mr. Shaw in Celebration, Ewbank in The Contractor, and Thomas Pasmore in The March on Russia.
- actor, director, writer
- Birth Details
- March 14, 1914
- Acton, England
Credits; Stage Appearances
- (London debut) Gunner Cohen, Mr. Bolfry, Playhouse, 1943.
- Trooper Bates, Desert Rats, Adelphi Theatre, London, 1945.
- Hughie, Now the Day Is Over, Embassy Theatre, 1946.
- Albert Norton, The Amiable Mrs. Luke, Players Theatre, London, 1946.
- Sam Gerridge, Caste, Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, England, 1946, then Duke of York's Theatre, London, 1947.
Players Please, Players' Theatre, 1947.
Sugar and Spice, St. Martin's Theatre, London, 1948.
- (New York debut) Touchstone, As You Like It, Cort Theatre, 1950.
- Bill Moodie, The Magnificent Moodies, Embassy Theatre, 1952.
- Lorenz, The Trap, Duke of York's Theatre, 1952.
- Happy Coombes, The Square Ring, Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, 1952.
- Fred Slater, Where There's a Will..., Garrick Theatre, London, 1954.
- Sam Gerridge, Caste (musical version; also see below), Royal Theatre, Windsor, England, 1955.
- Mack the Knife, The Threepenny Opera, Royal Court Theatre, then Aldwych Theatre, both London, 1956.
- Bill, Breakout (also see below), Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, England, 1959.
- Hans Luther, Luther, Paris Festival, then Holland Festival, laterRoyal Court Theatre, Edinburgh Festival, and Phoenix Theatre, all 1961.
- Ko-Ko, The Mikado, Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, 1962.
- Zakhar, Oblomov (later retitled Son of Oblomov), New Lyric,Hammersmith, England, then Comedy Theatre, London, both 1964.
- George, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Wimbledon Theatre, London, 1966.
- Tom, The Ballad of Queenie Swann (later retitled Queenie),Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, England, then Comedy Theatre, both 1967.
- Mr. Shaw, Celebration, Royal Court Theatre, 1969.
- Ewbank, The Contractor, Royal Court Theatre, 1969, then Fortune Theatre, London, 1970.
- Chief Officer Evans, Insideout, Royal Court Theatre, 1969.
- Ernest, Runaway, Royal Court Theatre, 1974.
- Hal Lewis, Sunshine Boys, Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead, England,then New Theatre, Cardiff, Wales, both 1976.
- Eddie Waters, Comedians, Vanbrugh Theatre, London, 1977.
- Baron Hardup, Cinderella, Churchill Theatre, Bromley, England, 1977.
- Old Price and Grandfather, Larkrise, Cottesloe Theatre, National Theatre, London, 1978-79.
- Ald Fitzwarren, Dick Whittington, Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon, England, 1978.
- Cocky, The Long Voyage Home, Cottesloe Theatre, 1979.
- Thomas Pasmore, The March on Russia, National Theatre Company, Lyttelton Theatre, 1989.
- Appeared as Ernie Briggs, The Dream House, Connaught Theatre, Worthing, England, in the 1950s; appeared in The Passion, 1979; played Thomas Brown, Candleford.
Credits; Major Tours
- Toured as Bill, Breakout (also see below), c. 1959; Joe Scotswood,Love Locked Out, 1960; Jim, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1963; and Doolittle, Pygmalion, 1978; appeared in Jubilee, 1989.
Credits; Stage Work
- Director, The Christmas Tree, New Boltons Theatre, 1951.
- Director, The Art of Living, Royal Theatre, Brighton, England, 1955.
- Music director, Caste (also see below), Royal Theatre, Windsor, England, 1955.
- Director, Money for Nothing, High Wycombe Theatre, 1956.
- Director, In the Palm of Her Hand (also see below), Intimate Theatre, London, 1981.
Credits; Film Appearances
- (Film debut; as Bill Rowbotham) Nobby Clarke, Johnny in the Clouds(also known as Way to the Stars), United Artists, 1945.
- (As Bill Rowbotham) Vacation from Marriage (also known as Perfect Strangers), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)/London Films, 1945.
- (As Bill Rowbotham) Sergeant, School for Secrets (also known as Secret Flight), General Films Distributors, 1946.
- (As Bill Rowbotham) Dave Robinson, Dancing with Crime, Paramount,1947.
- (As Bill Rowbotham) Bill, When the Bough Breaks, General Films Distributors, 1947.
- Ron, Daybreak, General Films Distributors, 1948.
- Mr. Lee, Easy Money, General Films Distributors, 1948.
- First Spiv, Trouble in the Air, General Films Distributors, 1948.
- Pinto, Diamond City, General Films Distributors, 1949.
- Joe Jugg, The Gay Lady (also known as Trottie True), General Films Distributors, 1949.
- Tim, The Girl Who Couldn't Quite, Monarch, 1949.
- Syd Evans, My Brother's Keeper, Eagle Lion, 1949.
- Soldier, The Weaker Sex, Eagle Lion, 1949.
- Private Binns, Hotel Sahara, United Artists, 1951.
- Lag Gibbon, Maniacs on Wheels (also known as Once a Jolly Swagman), International Releasing, 1951.
- Stutely, The Story of Robin Hood (also known as The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men), RKO Radio Pictures, 1952.
- Shorty Sharpe, A Day to Remember, General Films Distributors, 1953.
- Joe, There Was a Young Lady, Butchers Film Service, 1953.
- Sam Lilley, The Rainbow Jacket, General Films Distributors, 1954.
- Happy Burns, The Square Ring, Republic, 1955.
- Dusty, Not So Dusty, Eros, 1956.
- Birdie, The Ship That Died of Shame (also known as PT Raiders), General Films Distributors/Continental, 1956.
- N.C.O. instructor, Carve Her Name with Pride, J. Arthur Rank, 1958.
- Eric, Davy, MGM, 1958.
- Corporal Copping, Carry on Sergeant, Anglo-Amalgamated, 1959.
- Percy Hickson, Carry on Nurse, Anglo-Amalgamated, 1959.
- Spettigue, The Shakedown, Universal, 1960.
- Mike Weston, Carry on Regardless, Anglo-Amalgamated, 1961.
- Corporal Gittens, Operation Snafu (also known as On the Fiddle,
War Head, and Operation War Head), released in England in1961, American International, 1965.
- Smiley, Carry on Cabbie (also known as Call Me a Cab), Warner Bros./Pathe, 1963.
- Martin, The Hellfire Club, Embassy, 1963.
- Bludgin, The Secret of Blood Island, Universal, 1965.
- Ted, Georgy Girl, Columbia, 1966.
- First Officer Powell, The Fighting Prince of Donegal, Buena Vista,1966.
- Henry, Headline Hunters, Ansus, 1968.
- Quarryman, Mischief, Children's Film Foundation, 1969.
- Superintendent Barlow and Inspector Carding, O Lucky Man!, WarnerBros., 1973.
Kadoyng, Children's Film Foundation, 1974.
- Mr. Shaw, In Celebration, American Film Theatre, 1975.
- Mr. B, The Comeback, Lone Star, 1982.
- Amos Lintott, Laughter House (also known as Singleton's Pluck), Film Four International, 1984.
- Second television announcer, The Handmaid's Tale, Cinecom, 1990.
- Also appeared in The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, 1975, Martha,
You See What I Mean,
Night Apart, and When the Screaming Stopped.
Credits; Television Appearances
- Compo, Last of the Summer Wine (series), The Entertainment Channel, 1942.
- Lunt, Brideshead Revisited (movie), PBS, 1982.
- Announcer, Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 1990.
- Also appeared in series Sally Ann; appeared in Passing Through,Three Piece Suite, Quiet Half Hour, Kiss Me Kate, The Entertainer, The Adding Machine, and Sixteen and a Half Percent Said Push Off.
- (Adapter and lyricist) Caste (stage musical; adapted from T. W. Robertson's play of the same title), produced at Royal Theatre, Windsor, England, 1955.
Breakout (stage play), first produced in Dutch at Rotterdam StateTheatre, 1957, produced at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, England, 1959.
In the Palm of Her Hand (stage play), produced at Intimate Theatre, London, 1981.
- Also author of one-act plays Off-Guard, 1963, Autumn Romance, 1963, Double Act, 1963, Rehearsal, 1978, These Boots Ain't Made for Walking, 1979, The Laundresses, and The Ragged School, and of plays Money for Nothing (with Ted Willis), 1956, Party for Jeremy, 1959, Exercise, 1960, Fringe of Light, 1961,Truth or Murder, 1975, Away from It All, 1975, and Viva Viva; author of book and lyrics for musical Matchgirls, 1964; adapterfor stage of Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, 1952. Author of television scripts and song lyrics.
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